Two Indian Women Lawyers Are In The 100 Most Influential People List For Overturning Section 377
I woke up today to what has been a proud and important discovery for me and thousand others who followed the fight to get Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code revoked. The TIME Magazine released its list for the 100 Most Influential People Of The Year 2019 and two of the main litigators – Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy and Advocate Arundhati Katju who were front-runners in fighting the battle to overturn section 377 , were both named in the list.
Section 377 that came about during the time of British colonisation, entailed all sexual activities “against the order of the nature” as a punishable offence by law. The fight to overrule this existing law was long, hard and extremely brutal for everyone who was from the LGBT Community and for those who believed in sexual freedom.
Menaka and Arundhati, both extremely instrumental in turning the tables on this 157-year-old law, fought with a remarkable commitment and hope in restoring and protecting an individual’s sexual orientation. They did not just deliver a landmark judgement that will go down in the books but also got an apology issued to the LGBT Community as part of the historic ruling.
Priyanka Chopra, wrote a piece in the magazine for them both stating, “Armed with a well-planned strategy that went beyond their well-researched legal arguments, Arundhati and Menaka became beacons of hope for the Indian LGBTQ+ community. Their perseverance and commitment led an entire community to a historic win by humanising their struggles and giving them the freedom to love. As the Chief Justice said, “Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality.”
Their role in decriminalising homosexuality was crucial and served as hope for the world, that as long as you’re putting up strong and honest fight, there is nothing that can stop you from achieving what you want. After all, everything is fair in love and war, and this, was both.